It’s been a raging start to the winter, with almost all of our favourite resorts getting nuked before opening day (sorry Whistler). North American skiers and riders were stoked to strap on their skins and get their winter legs back before the resorts opened. But when the lifts roared to life, it was game on.
Interior BC riders are notorious powderhounds that don’t require a bullwheel to turn in order to get a sweet faceshot. Mons ambassadors, The Blondes, were out enjoying the Revy backcountry well before opening day. However, it’s hard to ignore a starting base of 288cm and on Dec 1st, the riders of Revelstoke rejoiced as the Revelation Gondola sprang to life, marking the start of the 2018.19 season.
Tonje Kvivik and The Blondes get in the last lap of opening day at Revelstoke
In years past, Whistralia has observed the slow, creeping descent of the snowline as early as late September, however this year, it’s been a bit of a tease with Mother Nature withholding pre-season freshies. But not even the jaded 25-year local could deny the energy when the garage doors lifted on the Whistler Village Gondola on Opening Day. The peaks had received a decent dusting the night prior, allowing revelers to produce champagne powder slashes that were ‘Gram worthy. Plus, the lack of snow created the perfect excuse for the self-proclaimed “real skiers” to scoff at those who dared ride the gondola out – no matter how bare the ski-out is, Death Before Download is law.
Finding powder stashes in Whistler
Jackson was blessed with low temperatures and several dustings during the pre-season. Opening day on the Saturday after Thanksgiving gives us enough of a reason to be jealous of the Americans – turkey and 62 inches of base?! What more could you ask for. The day was a beautiful blur of faces sore from laughter and smiling, lungs burning from cold air and hot laps. Mons ambassador Caite Zeliff says everyone lied to their thighs telling them they were ready for another lap. Double ejections, plenty of core shots and frozen toes were welcomed simply because the entirety of skiing had been missed.
Lots of things to smile about for Caite Zeliff on opening day in Jackson Hole
Much like their Canadian counterparts, Mons’ Aspen ambassadors, like Tuck Graham, took advantage of early season snow and flocked to other regions, such as Squaw and Steamboat Springs to soak up as much time in the mountains as possible. But when Aspen announced an early opening on Nov 17th and boasted more than 20 inches of fresh snow from recent storm cycles, it was game on. Just a glimpse at any of our Aspen ambassadors’ Instagram feeds is enough to make us a drool. Man, they’ve got some killer snow over there.
Tuck Graham making waves in Aspen
Ah Colorado. They really did draw the lucky card during the pre-season with a sh*t ton of snow. Originally, Breck’s Opening Day was tentatively set for November 9th, but with a base of over five feet, the resort opened early for the first time in ten years and the lifts spun on November 7th. It was also the earliest opening ever for the SuperChair. Talk about a season kick-off – milestone after milestone. For our Mons ambassadors in Breck, Kellyn Wilson and Cody Cirillo, we’ll tip our hats to you - you win this round.
That opening day feeling in Breckenridge
No doubt Ullr blessed North America this season with some epic snowfall so far. Even our friends in Whistler are making up for lost time this week, having received some four feet of snow in the past five days. And while we appreciate that you’ve taken a break to read our much-anticipated opening day recap, it’s time to strap on the planks and get back to the mountain – get going!
Photos: Chris Holder, Danny Leblanc, Tonje Kvivik, Frank Shine and Kellyn Wilson
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